To [Peter P. Burdett]
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society
London, Mar. 17. 1775
Being about to embark for America this Line is just to take leave wishing you every kind of Felicity, and to request that if you have not yet purchased for me the Theatrum Machinarum, you would now omit doing it, as I have the Offer of a Set here.2 But if you have purchased it, your Draft on me will be duly paid in my Absence by Mrs. Stevenson, in whose Hands I leave my little Affairs, till my Return, which I purpose God willing, in October. Mrs. Stevenson keeps the House in Cravenstreet, wherein I have always lodged since my Residence in London.
Be pleased to present my humble Respects to your good Prince, with my best Wishes for his Prosperity, and repeat my thankful Acknowledgements for his gracious and benevolent Propositions in my favour, of which tho’ I could not, for the reasons I gave you, avail myself I shall nevertheless always retain the most grateful Sense: and if either here or in America I could render his Highness any kind of Service, it would give me infinite Pleasure. With great Esteem I am, Dear Sir,
2. The order, along with the reasons that BF mentions below for declining the invitation from the Margrave of Baden, must have been in an answer now lost to Burdett’s letter above, Dec. 15. Two old works entitled Theatrum machinarum were in print, and the more likely one by far was Georg Andreas Böckler, Theatrum machinarum novum …, which went into five editions between 1661 and 1703. It may have been BF who obtained for the Library Company the Cologne edition of 1662, which is listed in Catalogue of the Books, Belonging to the Library Company of Philadelphia … (Philadelphia, 1789), p. 286.